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I have been searching for years now for more information on my greatgrandfather's accident while he was an 'engineer for the Northern Pacific on a western division' (according to his obituary) or, while working for Chicago Northwestern as a brakeman (according to a family member)Clayton Dick Herbert lost his leg in a railway accident ... that much I am certain of. I'm assuming this happened between 1870 and 1880 but am not positive of that. I'm basing my assumption on finding him as a day labourer in 1870 on his Father's farm in Iowa and, in June of 1880, as a restaurant owner in the Dakota Territory. He and my greatgrandmother were married in April of that year. He was a restauranter/saloon keeper/lunchroom owner for the remainder of his life. What I'm trying to find is where and when he was actually injured. I thought the railroads would have records of serious accidents like his but I can't even find sites that tell me who to ask. I did try contacting a few that I found online but never received a reply.

So, any hints any of you have would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

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Comment by Carolyn Preston on July 29, 2009 at 2:36pm
Okay, point number one, remember that his obituary was written with information, probably obtained by family members. So you have two different family stories. Point number two, check to see if Northern Pacific and the Chicogo Northwestern ever belonged to the same company, or if they have now merged into the same company. Point number three, check newspaper articles (thank heavens for digital archives) for mentions of train accidents. Engineer or brakeman might actually be similar jobs. Do you have a model train store in the city where you live? Trust me, there are many people (mostly men) there that would love to debate the various aspects of this story with or without you.

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